A Gentleman’s Guide to MCTs: 5 Ways MCT Oil Fuels Your Brain and Body

The right support system for your workout programs and nutrition can have a cascading effect. Done right, it can result in an improved immune system, sharper cognitive functions, and increased energy throughout the day.

Finding the right support system can be fraught with challenges though. Do it with abandon and you’ll be doing more harm than good. When not used properly, the nutritional products you prescribe yourself may be harmful, resulting in the products being ineffective.

With all the available information out there, is there a magic bullet? The truth is, no, there isn’t. Finding the best supplements to supercharge your body and mind depends on numerous factors, from age, to level of fitness, and to nutrition.

But there is one health supplement that has been proven to work for any male looking to get stronger, faster, and mentally tougher. MCT oil is a science-backed natural supplement that provides numerous benefits.

Adding MCT oil to your diet on a regular basis is like supercharging your engine with rocket fuel.

What is MCT oil?

Medium-chain triglycerides or MCTs is a category of fatty acids. Unlike long-chain triglycerides (LCTs) which are dietary fats and are found in most foods, MCT oils are partially man-made. They are sourced and processed from various foods such as coconut oil and grass-fed butter.

When stored at room temperature, MCT oil is odorless, colorless, and translucent. This makes it the perfect fatty acid to include in a variety of foods such as condiments, dressings, pre- and post-workout shakes, and smoothies.

MCT oil also works great with coffee.

A great coffee recipe that can give you high-performance energy throughout the day is bulletproof coffee. Simply add MCT oil and grass-fed, unsalted butter to certified clean coffee beans and you have a supercharged morning beverage packed with essential nutrients.

How MCT oil works

When it comes to MCT oils, there are four fatty acids that are categorized as medium chain triglycerides:

  • Caproic acid (C6)
  • Caprylic Acid (C8)
  • Capric Acid (C10)
  • Lauric Acid (C12)

The “medium” in medium chain triglycerides refers to the length of the chemical structure of the triglyceride or fat. Longer chain fatty acids, found in majority of fats, contain 13-21 carbons in each molecule. MCTs, on the other hand, only have 6-12 carbon atoms (see above).

This means that medium chain triglycerides are metabolized differently than longer chain fatty acids like LCTs.

Their shorter chain length makes them easier for your body to absorb. Once consumed, MCTs rapidly break down and go straight to the liver, bypassing your body’s digestive tract. This results in MCTs being rapidly converted into energy, resulting in the immediate creation of an energy source.

This also provides your body with an instant cognitive boost as MCTs can directly transfer from your liver to your brain via your bloodstream.

Understanding the different types of MCT oils

But not all MCTs are created equal. Of the four medium chain fatty acids, only three are quickly broken down into energy. C6, C8, and C10 provide quick conversion of fat into energy while C12 must be processed and broken down through your digestive tract before being absorbed and turned into energy.

To further break down the four different types of medium chain fatty acids, C6 and C8 are the best types of MCT while C12 is the least desirable. But this is amounting to the fact that it has a longer chain length and it acts like a typical fatty acid.

C6 and C8 are ideal for instant, rapid energy while C10 and C12 are best for sustained energy.

But all MCT oils provide great everyday health benefits. When choosing an MCT oil to include in your diet, find an MCT oil that works with your desired goals. There are many available on the market including coconut oil, Brain Octane oil, and XCT oil.

And if you’re concerned about these fatty acids turning into fat, worry not.

Because they’re quickly broken down and absorbed once consumed, MCTs don’t promote weight gain. Rather, numerous studies have shown that consuming MCTs on a daily basis can support weight loss goals.

Benefits of MCT oil

Actively including MCT oil in your diet is a necessity as most Western diets exclude medium chain fatty acids. Your brain and body need healthy fats to function optimally. Without the right type of fatty acids, growth and development become stunted.

This can result in a weaker reproductive health system, hair and skin health, cell membrane integrity, and cognitive functionality, among other problems that can occur.

Adding MCT oil to your meals and beverages like bulletproof coffee can result in optimal health, provided that nutritional intake is well managed. But MCT oil does more than just support healthy functions.

Below, we look at the health benefits of MCT oil.

  1. It offers a quick and reliable source of energy

Due to the chemical makeup of MCT oils, they are converted to ketone bodies instead of being stored by your body as fat.

This allows MCTs to be immediately used for ketosis, a process that burns fat into energy.

And unlike other energy alternatives such as glucose, this rapid and sustained energy comes with no negative side effects. This means your body won’t experience a crash like with other widely available stimulants.

MCTs are a highly effective energy source for everyone, especially athletes and bodybuilders. As an odorless and tasteless nutritional supplement, MCT oil can be mixed into a pre-workout shake, providing you with rocket fuel to power through your workouts.

  1. It increases thermogenics

When you consume MCT oil, your body enters a state of ketosis. Being in a constant state of ketosis means your body goes through greater thermogenic effect. Thermogenics is a metabolic process that uses calories to create heat.

An increased thermogenic effect results in a metabolism boost. This produces a higher calorie burn and increases your body’s ability to burn fat.

When your body’s metabolic rate rises, your body is capable of greater weight loss. In fact, numerous clinical studies have found that consumption of MCTs “leads to greater energy expenditure” when compared to the consumption of long-chain triglycerides.

When MCT oil is incorporated into a carefully structured weight loss plan, enhanced weight loss occurs. Even those not on a weight loss plan can use MCT oil to effectively maintain a healthy weight.

  1. It leads to better exercise performance

When your jam-packed schedule leaves little room for workouts, you want to ensure your output levels are at their optimal peak. As made evident above, MCT oil can contribute to boosting one’s energy level and endurance.

This is particularly useful for recreational athletes looking to crank out an extra set after a busy day at the office. Other research has shown that the daily consumption of MCT oil resulted in preventing muscle atrophy in critically ill patients.

  1. It enhances cognitive capacity

Because MCTs bypass your digestive tract and get directly transported to your brain from your liver, your brain has access to quick, clean energy, boosting its capabilities. As MCT oil has no side effects, it can be a great source of fuel to support brain function.

MCT oil has also been found to have great potential in treating those with cognitive impairment or brain disorders.

Research has shown that patients with neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and dementia had significant improvement in memory and overall brain healthwhen taking MCT oil.

There is also evidence to suggest that MCT oil can postpone brain aging and treat autism.

As brain cells have a constant need for fuel, the fatty acids found in MCT oil can be converted into a reserve fuel source for the brain. If your body has low blood sugar levels, your brain can use the ketones found in MCT oil as fuel.

In a study published in Physiology & Behavior, when a ketogenic gluten-free diet was supplemented with MCT, core autism features improved. This is a potentially beneficial treatment option for those on the autism spectrum, though further investigation is required.

  1. It improves gut health

Gut health is a too-often ignored aspect of our overall well-being.

As your digestive system is responsible for a whole host of functions throughout your body, it does house two-thirds of your immune system. A healthy gut can positively affect mood, memory, appetite, sex drive, and much more.

Likewise, poor digestive health can have the opposite effect. In fact, Harvard Health has found that a poorly maintained digestive system has been associated with many issues stemming from digestive to the brain and mental health.

Nutrition, of course, plays a major role in determining the health of your body’s digestive system. And MCT oil is a crucial factor in that.

Medium-chain fatty acids like Caprylic Acid (C8) has potent anti-microbial, anti-viral, and anti-fungal properties. The chemical structure found in MCT oil, predominantly Lauric Acid (C12) and Caprylic Acid (C8), has also been found to target and kill pathogenic bacterial infections.

MCT oil can be particularly useful for men with an immune-compromised digestive system as it can bolster gut integrity and improve a diminished immune response.

MCT oil and your health

Peak performance starts with the right nutrition. Medium-chain triglycerides are an important building block of a healthy nutritional program.

By adding MCT oils to your daily meals and beverages, you provide your body with a natural, clean fuel that has been shown to help men reduce weight, maintain a healthy immune system, and energize cognitive capabilities.

Use MCT oil in your diet however you feel. Start your day off with a reviving mug of Bulletproof Coffee or end your workout with a repairing MCT oil-infused post workout shake. Your body and your mind will thank you.


Dave Asprey is the creator of the widely popular Bulletproof Coffee, host of the #1 health podcast, Bulletproof Radio, and author of the New York Times bestselling book, “The Bulletproof Diet.” Through his work, the Silicon Valley investor and technology entrepreneur provides information, techniques and keys to taking control of and improving your biochemistry, your body and your mind so they work in unison, helping you execute at levels far beyond what you’d expect, without burning out, getting sick, or allowing stress to control your decisions.